The mask in Street Art

If one item is to become synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic, surely it will be the mask. Only a couple of months ago were those wearing medical masks in public sneered at and humiliated, yet now, we are all becoming aware of the importance of them as valuable items protecting both ourselves, wider public health and the NHS.

Unsurprisingly, street artists have capitalised on the powerful visual imagery that they provide- simultaneously a symbol of resistance and compassion for one’s fellow man, with strong post-apocalyptic overtones- and have begun integrating them into their artworks.

Many artists have been placing masks on to well-known figures such as; The Simpsons, Mary, Ziggy Stardust, Mona Lisa- suggesting a ‘new normal,’ whilst others have been referencing previous iterations, such as @jillyballistic who has been using imagery of gas masks from the Blitz.

Here’s some of our favourite works that take the mask as a source of inspiration…

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